A time to share

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Innovention 2010 (1)

I got back from Innovention 2010 which was held in Las Vegas last week. I have a lot to unpack mentally as it was a four day magic convention with many lectures and two Gala events as well as five close up performances and lectures.
The event was put on by Executive producer, Paul Stone. I had never met Paul, but I can say he is a class act. He was very busy and still found time for everyone. More on that later!
The Innovention started Friday night Oct. 4th with a little gathering of magicians. I ran into a friend that I met at WMS in 2009. Per Strandberg from Sweden. We struck up our friendship and sat at a table. I decided to share a magic card effect with him. Zingone 12 card mental problem. A pet effect from my mentor Tom Frank. Per is the kind of man that enjoys math magical effects, in other words, self working math tricks. This effect really boggled him. As I was performing for him, another man sat down next to him and caught the end of the effect...Not having seen the beginning, he was a little in the "dark" about it. Per asked me to show it to him, I said, "why, so you can try to figure it out?" I did so anyway, and now I have two people totally baffled, again, as I was showing this wonderful effect to "Kevin", another guy sat down, and they both asked me to show it to him. So naturally, as I was on a roll... I did, and proceeded to twist him up as well. Man O man... I felt like a million bucks, and these guys must have thought pretty highly of me.
The next day Per was still baffled and told me he lost sleep over it! HA! (Thanks Tom!)We had a very nice surprise Monday night as Johnny Thompson, Mac King, and The Amazing Jonathon were on a small stage... but Johnny Thomson introduced a special guest, Tom Mullica!!! What a treat it was to have Tom join them for a question and answer session. Tom Is battling Leukemia.
Tuesday was the real kick off of the week...
The Johnny Thompson Hour,
With lectures by Magical Al, a childrens magician from New York,
Special workshop with Brian Eggerton on Website optimisation..
Then what was labeled a close up show...
Four world class magicians traveled from room to room entertaining us with their close up mastery.
We enjoyed the wonderful coin magic of Eric Jones.
The awesome card sleights of Mark Mason, followed by the funny and interestingly sloppy, hap hazard card work of Lenert Green, then the wonderful Three shell game by Bob Kholer.
I was genuinely surprised at how well Bob Kholer did. I had never seen him perform. The other three were great as well. Mark Mason brought down the house with his card tricks... Holy Smoke! Awesome!
Mentalism was next with Graham P. Jolly.. Wow!
Seems that Paul Stone is from the U.K. and he brought a fun and wonderful contingent of magicians to the states with him!
Later that evening was the International Stars of Magic Show.
Johnny Thompson & Pam. What a delight to watch these two perform!

And a late night session with Lennert Green.
Even some of the greatest card men in the world can get a little crazy when they want too!!!

Wednesday arrived with little sleep from the night before... I had made some new friends from the U.k. Jerry Kinsella and his partner of 11 years, Leonora...
what a wonderful couple they are. Also in the photo is another wonderful magician form the East Coast, Louis Cirulli. I called him "Sweet Lou!"

Leonora latched onto me. She just simply is a very bubbly person. Being a non magician, or a lay person as we call them, she was used and abused (Not really) by all the magicians in their close up shows.
She had a great time and never did get magicked out!
Anyway, Wednesday was more of the same, lectures by stars, on how to do trade shows, and how to keep soft eye contact.
Special workshops and business teachings about getting your self out there with today's technology.
Later Wednesday was something I was truly looking forward to. The Joanie Spina lecture!!! Joanie was David Copperfield's lead assistant and choreographer for many years. She teaches about movement, lack of movement and incorporating music into your show. I have no music in my show at present. My show is what might be termed a talking show. Joanie put on a great lecture. Something I hadn't considered, never even thought about was the use of music to underscore some of the effects I do.
Two come to mind immediately, my linking rings routine and the torn and restored newspaper. Both could use some music to enhance the flavor and feel of them. To "emotionalize them! Now the hard part, to find music that fits them.
Late night Wednesday found everyone gathered in the showroom for a special one hour session with Criss Angel!
It was actually better than expected. Criss spoke candidly about his life in magic. He is an overnight success story that took 16 years! Funny how when someone hits the big time, he is considered an overnight success.
Many magicians do not like Criss Angel. It is said he has forgotten where he came from and that he does not give back to magicians.
I don't know about all that. He seemed pretty genuine to me. Sure, he has this persona, all dressed in black goth, his magic has a super natural flavor, like he is calling on evil spirits. I think he is reaching this generation of children for magic, and all magicians benefit from it. I was at the Portland Magic jam a few weeks back, and at the question and answer portion of that event, the "panel" was asked what they thought of Criss Angel. It was said that he did not give a certain trick that was to be on his show enough rehearsal time before presenting it. In fact it was stated that he only gave it fifteen minutes before doing it live, on television.
Criss said that this is one of his abilities. To be able to take something and do it almost immediately.
He spoke of his love of magic from an early age and that because of his focus on magic, he did poorly in school.
When asked what he would tell a young person that wants to go into magic full time, his response was to tell them not too, to stay in school. Then if they ignored you, then you have someone who really wants it!
I enjoyed meeting him, and not because he is a "star." I just liked a lot he had to say about the "nay sayers" in life. The envious ones, and not listening to them. Following your dream.
Got to bed after 3 am that night!


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